The Grapevine

The World's Heaviest Woman Faces Health Problems Following Gastric Sleeve Surgery

An Egyptian woman who gained attention after losing a reported 700 pounds is said to be treated for a multiple health issues in Abu Dhabi, according to the BBC. Eman Abd El Aty, who once weighed more than 1100 pounds is now in the hospital for heart problems and bed sores, writes the paper.

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In a statement published by the paper, the hospital explains of Eman’s condition, "She is currently facing several health conditions, including a cardiac issue, which is still under intensive investigation; severe urosepsis [a bacterial infection complicating a urinary tract infection]; and third degree infected bed sores." The statement also notes the woman is under the care of 20 doctors.

18199183_1805036963157027_1829265867062997450_n Eman gained worldwide attention following her family's plea for help. https://www.facebook.com/SaveEmanCause

According to a blog dedicated to chronicling Eman’s journey, her sister, Shaimaa Ahmed, began reaching out to doctors across the world several years ago for medical help. Bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala from India agreed to taken on the case. Fox News reports that the Tumblr account is being run by the staff at Mumbai's Saifee Hospital, where Eman was treated.

Traveling from Egypt to India was not easy for the 36-year-old woman who hasn’t walked in 25 years. First, she was denied a travel Visa, which was granted after Lakdawala intervened and explained the case to the Hon’ble External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj, explains one post.  Then an account to croudsource funding for costs associated with Eman’s travel and expenses was set up. The surgery was performed pro bono by Lakdawala. The Times of India reports that the patient had to leave Alexandria, Egypt, via cargo plane to be transported to the hospital in Mumbai, India. A crane was used to get her into the prepared room upon arrival.

Lakdawala devised a four-year plan to treat the woman, which began with getting her healthy and ready for weight loss surgery, writes The Washington Post. Following that, she underwent  sleeve gastrectomy surgery to reduce the size of her stomach. The doctor estimated that Eman would need several surgeries over the course of several years to get her healthy and under 220 pounds.

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Conflict arose following the operation. The BBC article references a social media video in which Shaimaa says her sister didn’t lose the amount of weight reported by doctors. The Arab online media site Al Arabiya reports that Eman was transported to a hospital in Abu Dabi after her sister contacted the hospital complaining about how doctors in India handled the case. In turn, the hospital in India called the police on Shaimaa when the woman tried giving her sister water, which could harm the lungs, reports Mumbai media site Mid-day.com. Shaimaa says was unaware of the dangers. Eman will remain in Abu Dubai until her healtlh improves.

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